While serious subsidence on the new Ring Road 3 flyover section is still a matter of some conjecture, the road's main investor Thang Long Project Management Unit (PMU) has asked the Ministry of Transport to grant contractors a total sum of VND180 billion (US$8.5 million) as a reward for meeting the construction deadline ahead of time.
The two main contractors, namely Japan's Sumitomo Mitsui and the Samwhan-Cienco 4 joint venture, claim they deserve to receive the reward for completing their contracted phases 454 days and 263 days ahead of the deadlines, respectively.
The Ring Road, running from Tu Liem District's Mai Dich Ward to Hoang Mai District's North Linh Dam, was funded with Official Development Assistance (ODA) loans from the Japanese government totalling VND5.5 trillion ($256 million). The construction started in June, 2010, and was scheduled for completion around November this year.
At a meeting with the Ministry of Transport in January last year, the director general of Thang Long PMU told the transport minister, Dinh La Thang, that construction would meet the deadline. In return, Thang promised a reward if the contractors managed to do this.
Due to the extra speed, the road was opened for transport in October last year, more than a year ahead of time. Thang Long PMU asked for a reward equal to 10 per cent of the savings gained by Government.
However, the proposal has caused an uproar among the public who say that the subsidence is getting worse and blame it on hasty and ill conceived ideas. Thang Long PMU then went to bat to defend itself by accusing overloaded vehicles of causing the collapse of the road surface. It still insists on the full $8.5 million reward.
If the contractors are so insistent on their reward for a bad job, maybe they should use any money to repair the damage their neglect has apparently caused!
Young lady wins her mission
A police task-force team accidentally nabbed a mobile phone thief last Thursday when the victim suddenly recognised him as he was stopped for violating a minor regulation.
The coincidence happened at Ho Tung Mau-Le Duc Tho crossroads when the 141 team – a special Ha Noi police team set up to deal with crimes and ensure social order – stopped a young man who was driving a Honda's SH motorbike. As they were accusing him of violating traffic regulations, a young girl suddenly appeared and denounced the man for stealing her IPhone.
It turned out the man rents an apartment near the girl's home. Recently, he sped off after grabbing her expensive phone, but the girl kept looking for his face. Last Thursday, her diligence paid off when she unexpectedly saw him at a nearby market - and followed him.
When our young "hero" was stopped by police, she was on the spot almost immediately to denounce him. The youth then admitted stealing the phone and said that he used his expensive SH motorbike to attract young girls - and then grab their goods.
So instead of just an administration fine for his traffic violation, he now faces charges for theft as well. The good news is that he may even have to sell his treasured motorbike to pay for his sins!
Facebook creates chaos
Vietnamese web surfers became heated at the weekend after a Facebook member made up a story about a woman who had her arm cut off by two brutal robbers who wanted her IPhone. The horror event is alleged to have happened in the centre of HCM City.
The story spead quickly after Facebook identity Ty Nhoc Loc Choc said on Facebook that he had witnessed the incident. Choc said the incident occurred in front of a Starbucks coffee shop. He said guards put the arm into an ice box and took the unfortunate woman to hospital.
Local police immediately investigated, but declared the story a hoax. They said many people believed the story as there was a similar, but true, story late last year when a gang of phone robbers cut off the arm of their victim. They were later sentenced to up to 12 years in prison.
People are suggesting that Facebook place more stringent controls on its users (abusers?) because such stories can create widespread alarm. Surely there must already be some laws that can punish such irresponsible users? — VNS